Benji Lovitt
Because the Middle East is Funny
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Yair Lapid reform: Cheap Stones tickets

The finance minister sends a message to cash strapped Israelis that sometimes they can get what they want

In a much anticipated move designed to curry favor with the Israeli middle class, Finance Minister Yair Lapid announced on Tuesday sweeping economic reforms that will allow citizens to afford Rolling Stones tickets.

Lapid said, “I was elected on the platform of “Yesh Atid”, that there is a future, and I still believe that this is true. Except for Keith Richards. His liver belongs in a plate of Jerusalem Mix.”

The darling of the 2013 elections, Lapid pledged to remedy Israel’s high cost of living and real estate prices but has had difficulty thus far achieving his goals. Lapid was recently named the least popular minister in Israel, the equivalent of being the least fried member of the Rolling Stones.

With the government coalition already close to its breaking point, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said this was the wrong move before calling for Lapid to lower ticket prices to the Backstreet Boys, which then sent his own approval ratings plummeting.

It was thought this move might also bring Lapid closer to the Haredi population he has been targeting for reform. No one was more happy than Shas leader Aryeh Deri who revealed that no less than 30,000 Haredim were expected to attend the concert, especially since they wouldn’t need to get up and work the next day.

Added Lapid: “The Rolling Stones are the perfect band to visit Israel. They helped pioneer the “rock and roll” attitude of the 1960s which is not so different from our values of innovation and chutzpah here. The song “Satisfaction” especially rings true, representing the Israeli public’s total lack of it in my job performance. And much like me, Mick Jagger knows nothing about the Israeli economy.”

Ironically, even after the price reduction, it was unclear whether anyone would be able to afford tickets after spending half their monthly income on cottage cheese for Shavuot.

In one of his final press conferences as outgoing president, Shimon Peres said, “I couldn’t be happier to finally see these great music legends come to Israel. I can’t wait to see what these young men do next.”

Co-written by Tony Jassen

About the Author
Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji Lovitt has performed stand-up comedy and educational programs for groups including Jewish Federations, Chabads, synagogues, Masa Israel Journey, and Birthright Israel. His perspectives on aliyah and Israeli society have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, the BBC, and more. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Masa Israel and is a popular presenter on the Limmud International circuit. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”